What They're Saying - The Bulldogs Media Thread - Part 2 | Page 402 | BigFooty

What They're Saying - The Bulldogs Media Thread - Part 2

Discussion in 'Western Bulldogs' started by Metal, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Hard Ball Get

    Hard Ball Get Brownlow Medallist

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    LUKE Beveridge demands mobility and aggression in his ruckmen, and Western Bulldogs recruit Jordon Sweet believes he has those attributes and more to satisfy his new coach.

    With the Bulldogs trading out premiership big man Jordan Roughead and delisting fellow follower Tom Campbell at season's end, the club was in the market for another ruck to assist exciting youngster Tim English, versatile tall Tom Boyd and utility Jackson Trengove.

    Impressed with Sweet's 2018 campaign with SANFL premier North Adelaide, the Dogs swooped on the hulking 202cm 20-year-old with pick No.23 in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

    WHO SMASHED IT? Your club's draft verdict

    Sweet told AFL.com.au he's not at the Dogs to make up the numbers and is out to impress Beveridge after missing the opportunity to leave a good first impression on the premiership mentor.

    "I haven't met 'Bevo' yet, but I spoke to him on the phone after I missed his first call," a sheepish Sweet said on Thursday.

    "Out of all the calls I got after the draft, his was the only one I missed.

    "I know he wants me to play the way I usually play, because he wouldn't have recruited me if I didn't I could play like that.

    "My pressure around the contest is good, my game knowledge is strong, as well as my skills for a big man.

    "I love the physicality aspect of the game, I love getting inside opponents' heads, so I'll bring a bit of aggression in the middle.

    "I give myself every chance to play round one, and there's no reason why I shouldn't think I can't."

    NAB AFL DRAFT HUB Latest news, video and more

    Sweet's confidence in his ability comes from a breakout season with the Roosters, with North Melbourne also interested in his services, but the South Australian has been on recruiters' radars for a while.

    Highly rated going into his draft year of 2016, he was added to the AFL Academy alongside first-round picks Ben Ainsworth, Jy Simpkin and Will Setterfield, but he was left undrafted because he "wasn't focused" enough on his football.

    Two years spent juggling his SANFL commitments with a full-time job stacking pallets in a supermarket warehouse finally saw Sweet "screw my head on properly."

    North Adelaide coach and former Power and Docker midfielder Josh Carr can attest to his former protégé's change in attitude and he also believes Sweet will meet Beveridge's philosophy on ruckman.

    SIX SPOTS LEFT Who'll get the last AFL lifelines for 2019?

    "Over the past 12 months Jordon has really matured a lot and developed his game, so I reckon he's ready to have a go at (AFL level)," Carr told AFL.com.au.

    "He's a really good runner, and I don't think he knew how good his tank was and it really surprised himself, so he's taken that with his love of throwing his weight around.

    "He tackles, chases and puts on shepherds, which is what you want a ruckman to do.

    "I don't think (the setbacks) really hit home early days because he's discovered he has the package to play at the next level and how much he loves footy."

    Landing at Whitten Oval has Sweet's father, a mad Bulldogs supporter, just as excited as he is, but it's his history with a former foe-turned-friend that has Sweet believing he's ready to step up if required.

    "I played against Tim English at the (2016) under-18 championships for South Australia against Western Australia, and we had a really good battle," Sweet said

    "We're both the same age, so we should make a great partnership.

    "We've got Tommy Boyd who can help out, and Jackson Trengove can play ruck and defence, so there aren't that many ruck options, but that's good for me."
     
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  2. doggies ftw

    doggies ftw Brownlow Medallist

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    Really does seem like the ideal ruck prospect you want on your list developing. Also really like hearing that the main reason he didnt get picked up was his professionalism, you can get a bargain with guys like that who are talented enough but just need the extra couple of years to mature (Billy Gowers etc).

    Unfortunately for him hes behind the best ruck prospect on an AFL list so hoping he can play forward too. Maybe the 2nd ruck starts to come back with the rule changes. English could also be an elite forward/2nd ruck IMO so maybe if Sweet does come on you could play them both.
     
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  3. Norm De Guerre

    Norm De Guerre Left of the dial.

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    Clearly a shy and retiring type is young Mr Sweet.

    Nice drive by on Boyd.

    RightyOoooh...

    The old adage often attributed to Democritus of 'learning to crawl before playing round One' comes readily to mind.
     
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  4. doggies ftw

    doggies ftw Brownlow Medallist

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    I love it personally, hope he plays with the same confidence
     
  5. Norm De Guerre

    Norm De Guerre Left of the dial.

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    Sure, its a bit unusual and his confidence is welcome as is his replacement on the list of BTC (huzza!). I just think we should however temper the above puff piece with other first hand reports that are not quite as glowing. Never mind the reality that he is at long odds to make it at all, let alone force his way past more established players and play round one.
     
  6. flipper83

    flipper83 All Australian

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    Taylor Duryea opens up about his exit from Hawthorn and what attracted him to the Western Bulldogs
    DECEMBER 01, 2018IT was 2.30am South Carolina-time when the notifications starting beeping on Taylor Duryea’s phone, abruptly rousing him from his slumber.

    He was on an annual golf trip to Sage Valley in the US with a group of 15 past and present Hawthorn teammates when the news came through that he had found a new home — the Western Bulldogs.

    A phone call validation from his manager Adam Ramanauskas followed soon after.

    SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LATEST TRAINING PHOTOS

    LADDER: WHO HAS THE OLDEST LIST IN THE COMPETITION?

    ELITE LIST: HOW MANY STARS DOES YOUR CLUB HAVE?

    “It’s fair to say I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night,” Duryea told the Sunday Herald Sun. “It was exciting news, but at the same time, it was a bit sad to be leaving the Hawks.

    “Everyone (on the trip) was either Hawthorn or ex-Hawthorn, and by the time the trip had finished there were five clubs represented.

    “Jordan Lewis (Melbourne) was there, so was Luke Hodge (Brisbane). ‘Suckers’ (Matt Suckling) and I were with the Bulldogs, we had the Hawthorn players there, and the day after the news came about my trade, Ryan Burton got traded to Port Adelaide.”

    The news filtering back from back in Australia didn’t stop the ‘United States of Hawthorn’ group from missing out on the tournament they have played the past two off-seasons.

    Taylor Duryea trains with his new Western Bulldogs teammates. Picture: Michael Klein
    Duryea, whose handicap has slipped to 11, won the event last year, but lost out to Jarryd Roughead this year.

    “I wasn’t able to defend my title, but Roughy plays off 27, so that probably doesn’t count,” he joked.

    Six weeks on, the 27-year-old defender has settled well into the Whitten Oval, eager by the challenge his new club presents him with, but also grateful for his experiences at Hawthorn.

    “One of the best things about my time at Hawthorn was that I wasn’t really going well in my first couple of years,” he said. “But Hawthorn had the luxury of holding onto me for a few extra years and that third year really proved a springboard for me into senior footy.”

    He went on to play 118 games with the Hawks, and was a member of the 2014 and 2015 premiership sides.

    His last on-field appearance for the Hawks came in the semi-final loss to Melbourne, a game he was recalled for after being sent back to Box Hill for a period late in the season.

    Taylor Duryea is excited to be at the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Michael Klein
    A few weeks later he had won Hawthorn’s best clubman award, an indication of his worth.

    He was a highly-regarded member of the Hawks on and off the field, and he is eager to maintain his role as an ambassador for Beyond Blue at his new club.

    But the opportunity the Bulldogs offered him — as well as an extra year’s security — saw him receptive to a move to join his former teammate Suckling at the Kennel.

    Rhylee West talks to Ed Richards. Picture: Michael Klein
    Fittingly, he has a Bulldog (Duke) — albeit a French, not a British one — already at home.

    “I’ve settled in really well,” he said. “I think I can deliver a bit with my leadership which I have been able to build and develop at Hawthorn under great leaders.

    Josh Schache leads the running group at the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Michael Klein
    “The young core of players that drove the (2016 Bulldogs) premiership are still there. That’s exciting for me as an older player coming into the group. There is obviously still the depth of talent there and I am really looking forward to seeing what this group can do.”

    Matt Suckling at Western Bulldogs training. Picture: Michael Klein
    Sam Lloyd runs with Hayden Crozier. Picture: Michael Klein
    Marcus Bontempelli fires off a handball. Picture: Michael Klein
    Taylor Duryea takes part in a running drill. Picture: Michael Klein
    [​IMG]
    Easton Wood looks on. Picture: Michael Klein
    " dir="ltr" >
    IT was 2.30am South Carolina-time when the notifications starting beeping on Taylor Duryea’s phone, abruptly rousing him from his slumber.

    He was on an annual golf trip to Sage Valley in the US with a group of 15 past and present Hawthorn teammates when the news came through that he had found a new home — the Western Bulldogs.

    A phone call validation from his manager Adam Ramanauskas followed soon after.

    SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LATEST TRAINING PHOTOS

    LADDER: WHO HAS THE OLDEST LIST IN THE COMPETITION?

    ELITE LIST: HOW MANY STARS DOES YOUR CLUB HAVE?

    “It’s fair to say I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night,” Duryea told the Sunday Herald Sun. “It was exciting news, but at the same time, it was a bit sad to be leaving the Hawks.

    “Everyone (on the trip) was either Hawthorn or ex-Hawthorn, and by the time the trip had finished there were five clubs represented.

    “Jordan Lewis (Melbourne) was there, so was Luke Hodge (Brisbane). ‘Suckers’ (Matt Suckling) and I were with the Bulldogs, we had the Hawthorn players there, and the day after the news came about my trade, Ryan Burton got traded to Port Adelaide.”

    The news filtering back from back in Australia didn’t stop the ‘United States of Hawthorn’ group from missing out on the tournament they have played the past two off-seasons.

    [​IMG]
    Taylor Duryea trains with his new Western Bulldogs teammates. Picture: Michael Klein
    Duryea, whose handicap has slipped to 11, won the event last year, but lost out to Jarryd Roughead this year.

    “I wasn’t able to defend my title, but Roughy plays off 27, so that probably doesn’t count,” he joked.

    Six weeks on, the 27-year-old defender has settled well into the Whitten Oval, eager by the challenge his new club presents him with, but also grateful for his experiences at Hawthorn.

    “One of the best things about my time at Hawthorn was that I wasn’t really going well in my first couple of years,” he said. “But Hawthorn had the luxury of holding onto me for a few extra years and that third year really proved a springboard for me into senior footy.”

    He went on to play 118 games with the Hawks, and was a member of the 2014 and 2015 premiership sides.

    His last on-field appearance for the Hawks came in the semi-final loss to Melbourne, a game he was recalled for after being sent back to Box Hill for a period late in the season.

    [​IMG]
    Taylor Duryea is excited to be at the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Michael Klein
    A few weeks later he had won Hawthorn’s best clubman award, an indication of his worth.

    He was a highly-regarded member of the Hawks on and off the field, and he is eager to maintain his role as an ambassador for Beyond Blue at his new club.

    But the opportunity the Bulldogs offered him — as well as an extra year’s security — saw him receptive to a move to join his former teammate Suckling at the Kennel.

    [​IMG]
    Rhylee West talks to Ed Richards. Picture: Michael Klein
    Fittingly, he has a Bulldog (Duke) — albeit a French, not a British one — already at home.

    “I’ve settled in really well,” he said. “I think I can deliver a bit with my leadership which I have been able to build and develop at Hawthorn under great leaders.

    [​IMG]
    Josh Schache leads the running group at the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Michael Klein
    “The young core of players that drove the (2016 Bulldogs) premiership are still there. That’s exciting for me as an older player coming into the group. There is obviously still the depth of talent there and I am really looking forward to seeing what this group can do.”

    [​IMG]
    Matt Suckling at Western Bulldogs training. Picture: Michael Klein
    [​IMG]
    Sam Lloyd runs with Hayden Crozier. Picture: Michael Klein
    [​IMG]
    Marcus Bontempelli fires off a handball. Picture: Michael Klein
    [​IMG]
    Taylor Duryea takes part in a running drill. Picture: Michael Klein
    [​IMG]
    Easton Wood looks on. Picture: Michael Klein
     
  7. Hard Ball Get

    Hard Ball Get Brownlow Medallist

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    OUT OF favour at times last season, Mitch Wallis says his outstanding finish to last year was the catalyst to being named in the Western Bulldogs' leadership group.

    Out of contract until after the Dogs' 2018 campaign concluded, there was persistent speculation the father-son recruit was headed out of Whitten Oval, with Brisbane and Essendon reported to be very interested suitors.

    NAB AFL DRAFT HUB Latest news, video and more

    However, the 26-year-old got his wish to remain at the club he has barracked for since birth, signing a three-year deal in September.

    Now selected by his teammates to be an official leader, Wallis says the confidence he gained from the honour and his strong finish to last season has him primed to grow his game further in 2019.

    WHO SMASHED IT? Your club's draft verdict

    "I wouldn't go as far to say (I was looking for) the exit, but there was a little bit of speculation last year," Wallis told reporters on Tuesday.

    "I'm a true Bulldog at heart, and the (contract situation) was about working through until the end of the year.

    "I needed to get the confidence back in my own ability, which I thought I did towards the end of the year.

    "I'm very honoured to be a part of the leadership group, but the hard work starts now and putting those words into action, having a good start to the year and carrying that through."

    DRAFT TRACKER Every pick, bios, highlights and Cal's comments

    The reason Wallis had two spells in the VFL last year was that he wasn't meeting coach Luke Beveridge's versatility mantra, but the inside midfielder did expand his game by becoming a damaging half-forward by season's end.

    Returning from a month-long stint with for the round 13 clash with Port Adelaide, he didn't look back, retaining his spot by kicking 15 goals and applying fierce forward pressure.

    WHO'S LEAVING YOUR CLUB? All the latest retirements and delistings

    "The team needed a half-forward and I was happy to put my hand up," Wallis said.

    "'Bevo' (Beveridge) loves dual-role players, so to have that string to your bow is very important, and the (draftees) coming in will have to have that too."

    [​IMG]

    Wallis knows the pressure associated with your father being a champion of the club, so he's been keeping an eye on the Dogs' latest father-son recruit, Rhylee West.

    Fathers Stephen Wallis and Scott West's storied careers overlapped at the Kennel, and Mitch Wallis expects to be playing a lot of footy with the confident son of a gun.

    "He's a cheeky bugger, and not shy," Wallis joked.

    "In your first pre-season (it) is all about keeping your head down and your bum up and doing everything right and earning the respect of your teammates and coaches, but he's a star.

    "We've seen some highlights (and) he's made of the right stuff, so I'm sure he'll get his opportunity and take it with both hands.

    "I can't wait to play with him because I've been lucky enough to see him grow up with my family quite close with the Wests.

    "He's made of the right stuff – he's going to be a good player."
     
  8. Hard Ball Get

    Hard Ball Get Brownlow Medallist

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    A PUNTING career in the NFL is an ambition for Matt Suckling, but the defensive playmaker remains fully focused on playing for as long as he can with the Western Bulldogs.

    Renowned for his booming left foot, Suckling is also known for his love of American culture, with the National Football League ranking high amongst his interests.

    Commencing his 11th pre-season in the AFL, the 30-year-old says while he has got an eye on the future, he's putting all his energies into building on the 152 games he's played for Hawthorn and the Bulldogs.

    "I want to play in the AFL as long as I can, and if I do play for a few years it might take (an NFL career) out of the question, but if my footy career did get cut short, then it would be something I would look at," Suckling told AFL.com.au.

    FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

    "I reckon I do have (the skill set for a kicker), but there's a lot of practice and reps, and it is pretty cut-throat industry over there, so there's a lot of work to put in before I'd move over.

    "I've been on a few holidays over there with my mates and have a lot of friends over there, so it's become like a second home for me."

    One reason Suckling's career at Whitten Oval could end earlier than he hopes is a troublesome Achilles that has hampered him in recent seasons.

    The injury saw him miss the Dogs' 2016 premiership triumph, and it also ended his 2018 campaign after just 11 games, but he heads into next season hopeful a one-year deal he signed in July will be doubled through strong performances.

    PROS AND CONS Our verdict on your club's fixture

    "I've had some problems with the Achilles before, but it's just down to calf strength issues and playing a wet game against Adelaide (last year) … it just flared up, and then I tried to play on and couldn't," Suckling said.

    "I've spent a lot of time putting strength into my calves and I'm pain free at the moment, so running around and building up to be flat out by Christmas.

    "I would have loved to have signed a two-year deal, but there's a trigger in (the contract) for a second year if I play enough games.

    WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

    "You do think about it at this age being your last year, but hopefully it's not."

    So, whether it’s a career in the AFL or NFL, Suckling says he needs to keep working if he wants to continue to feed another obsession with American culture – a growing sports shoes collection.

    "I've probably got too many pairs, so I need to get a girlfriend," Suckling joked.

    "I spend too much money on shoes and have a good little collection at home."
     
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  9. Chicago1

    Chicago1 Brownlow Medallist

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    So... two articles one article in today's H/S online about the Doggies and another two three about ex-Doggie players? Does that make us relevant or irrelevant? Or is it a draw? Should I pay for a subscription so I can read the articles? So many questions...

    Edited to change article numbers. I guess since it's three to one we must be irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  10. Virgin Dog

    Virgin Dog Team Captain

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    Use outline.com to get past all paywalls. **** media publications that hide behind a paywall yet still chuck ads up everywhere
     
  11. Hard Ball Get

    Hard Ball Get Brownlow Medallist

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    Getting a fee articles at the moment...
    JACKSON Trengove played just about every position in his first season at the Western Bulldogs, but he's hoping to lock down a more consistent role in 2019.

    Lured home to Melbourne last year after seven seasons with Port Adelaide, the versatile big man quickly adhered to coach Luke Beveridge's versatility mantra.

    CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?

    Champion Data recorded his 2018 game time at 62 per cent as a defender, 18 per cent as a ruckman and 10 per cent as a forward.

    Asked where he expected to play in 2019, the 28-year-old, said splitting his time between the ruck and attack is what he is hoping for.

    "I expected to play in a few positions (last year), but not as many as I did," Trengove, who was added to the club's leadership group this week, joked.

    "The last five or six games I really settled down in that ruck spot and going forward at some stage (of the game).

    "I'm hoping and guessing it will be something similar, that ruck/forward (role), and go back if needed, but hopefully we don't need me to."


    With Jordan Roughead traded to Collingwood and Tom Campbell delisted and subsequently recruited by North Melbourne, Trengove will assist the talented youngster Tim English in leading the Dogs' ruck division.

    Tom Boyd is also there to provide some assistance but expected to prominently play his customary role in attack next season, while hulking draftee Jordon Sweet told AFL.com.au last week he's not a Whitten Oval to make up the numbers and is looking to making his presence felt at AFL level.

    WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

    Trengove is yet to receive a physical examination at training from Sweet, but he said there's a lot to like about the South Australian rookie ruckman.

    "The young kids take a couple of weeks to get as physical as they will get, they tend to come in and take it nice and easy, but (Jordon is) a big boy and an absolute monster of a man," Trengove said.

    "He played in a premiership in the SANFL last year, which was pretty exciting for him, so I look forward to see what he's got."

    One year into his stint at the Kennel, Trengove is impressed with the fitness the players and 10 fresh faces have presented in and believes the group is much further advanced than the same time last year.

    "Just the condition and the way the boys came back (holidays), it set the tone for the footy club and we were ready to hit the deck straight away," Trengove said.

    "We ran really good times in the run we do every year, and see that drive amongst the group, and it's something we'll look to build on over the next few weeks.

    "The quality of the sessions and the work we’re able to put out has been a lot higher than this time last year."

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. F3000

    F3000 Senior List

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    Can anyone copy paste the roughy article from the HS please..? Can't get past the paywall :(
     
  13. Virgin Dog

    Virgin Dog Team Captain

    Western Bulldogs
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    Here's a link:
    https://outline.com/Lmbjuj
     
  14. Dogs_R_Us

    Dogs_R_Us Brownlow Medallist

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    I wonder if Roughie will continue to help coach our women's team, or, horrors, transfer to theirs.
     
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  15. RedWhite&Blue

    RedWhite&Blue Club Legend

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    When you google 'Western Bulldogs / News' there is an article written by Ryan Griffen on the 'Player's Voice' website but when you click on it it has been taken down. It is called 'The club that meant everything' referring to us...
    Can someone get access to it and paste it in here please, I'm having no luck
     
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  16. Sentinel

    Sentinel Club Legend

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    You should be able to view it now: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/ryan-griffen-club-that-meant-everything/#oq5qKTBjEXkPoTeD.97
     
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  17. Dogs_R_Us

    Dogs_R_Us Brownlow Medallist

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    A servo off the highway. Somewhere outside of Newcastle. About two hours north of Sydney.
    That’s where I watched the 2016 grand final. The last 15 minutes or so, anyway. It was pretty surreal.

    After spending 10 years at the Western Bulldogs, the club that gave me a start – a club where I’d been captain and twice best and fairest – standing in a petrol station on the side of the M1 wasn’t where I expected I’d see them end their 62-year premiership drought.

    We were heading away for a weekend of camping, Jasmine and I. The tank was running low, so we pulled in to fill up.
    For anyone who hasn’t spent much time in NSW, it’s rare for AFL to be on the TV anywhere, really. Even in pubs you’re more likely to see rugby league or darts, bull riding, anything other than footy on the screen.

    But there it was. I went in to pay for the fuel, looked up and saw that the Bulldogs were beating the Swans. There were about 14 minutes to go, from memory, and I knew straightaway they’d won it.

    I’m not sure what came over me, but I just stood there watching the screen. I was mesmerised. Couldn’t take my eyes off it.

    There were some mixed emotions, I’ll admit that. All I’d wanted to do while I was playing there was win a flag. I knew how much the club and the fans wanted it. I’d put my body and soul on the line to try and achieve it, but it wasn’t to be.

    At the same time, I was over the moon for everyone associated with the club, the fans and especially my mates who were on the field about to win the biggest prize of their careers. Poor Jasmine was sitting in the car wondering what was taking me so long.

    It’s strange how stuff like that happens. It’s like I was meant to see those final few minutes. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. You sort of have to take that approach when you play top level footy. Things happen along the way that you can’t find a reason for, twists of fate, people you come across. All sorts of things. And then it’s over.

    Scott West, my mentor at the Dogs early on, told me to enjoy every minute of my career because it ends before you know it. He was right. It flew by.

    I remember standing there in the dressing room after my last game for the Giants feeling so strange. All of a sudden you’re not a footy player anymore. It was sad, but also a proud moment, thinking that I’d just played 14 years at the highest level. It was really nice to have my family there with me. Dad was there in spirit, too.


    WHERE THE MURRAY ENDs
    Going after an AFL career was the last thing I wanted to do when I was a kid. I was having too much fun playing local footy with my mates around Goolwa in South Australia, where I grew up.

    Goolwa sits right near the end of the Murray. The river runs through the town, then through a lagoon of sorts called the Coorong and out to the ocean.

    The town itself wasn’t tiny. It had a Woolworths, a Foodland, two pubs. I think about 10,000 people live there now, if you include the farms around the area.

    Footy was a huge part of life. Pretty much everyone would go down to the club to play or just be involved somehow. It was a social thing as much as anything. I was a quiet country kid, always outdoors, out fishing or camping. But the game played a big role in my family, too.

    There were mixed emotions, I’ll admit that. All I’d wanted to do there was win a flag. I’d put my body and soul on the line to try and achieve it, but it wasn’t to be.

    My dad, John Griffen, grew up in a small town called Geranium, two or three hours from Adelaide. He was a solid half-backer in his day, even though he’d always tell me he wasn’t great and that I got my talent from his dad, my grandpa.

    Grandpa was really good, apparently, but it was pretty hard back then to get down to Adelaide to have a crack. And he was comfortable at home – he came from a really tiny town of 50 or 100 people – so he never got to really test out his talent.

    My path seemed similar to grandpa’s. When I was really young, Dad would have kick-arounds with me in the backyard and I started playing competitive footy from about six or eight years old. My eldest brother and younger brother played footy, too. We were a footy family and that’s what country towns are about.

    Saturdays were the big day each week. I’d bring my $10 weekly allowance down to the ground and spend it on lollies, a hotdog and a pie. I’d play mini-colts in the morning and junior colts straight after. Then I’d do the boundary umpiring for the older kids. I’d get paid five bucks to do that and I thought that was awesome.

    Local footy was everything back then. I loved being at the club. I loved everything about it. Normal kids have a dream to get drafted. But, just like Grandpa, I was happy at home and didn’t want to leave.

    When I was about 15, Dad and my mum, Jill, started encouraging me to have a crack, to head down to the South Adelaide Panthers. I kept saying no until, finally, Dad said ‘I’ll give you one more year at local level. But, after that, I want you to have a go’.

    I played another year, had a great time, and then a bloke called Michael Simmons, who worked in the country areas for South Adelaide, also started at me to have a go.

    My introduction to that next level was intense. They trained us hard, all this boxing and stuff, things I’d never done before. I remember on the way home after the first session, thinking ‘There’s no way I’m going back’. But, by the end of the week, I’d changed my mind and said ‘OK Dad, let’s go’.

    Playing for South Adelaide meant going to Mount Compass, about halfway between Goolwa and Adelaide, and training with other country boys. On the weekends, I’d play for South Adelaide under-15s. I started getting a lot fitter and my footy started taking off. I realised there was a real chance for me to possibly get somewhere, which encouraged me to train even harder.

    I played some really good footy at South Adelaide, made some state sides, played league at the age of 17 and ended up getting drafted. It all happened really quickly and from that point there was no turning back.

    image: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GRIFFEN_PV1_INARTICLE_05.jpg

    [​IMG]


    THE BIG TIME
    In my first pre-season at the Dogs I came in after training one day, sat on a bucket in the shower with my head down and thought ‘How am I going to cope?’

    You rock up and realise there’s 44 blokes on the list and they’re all gunning for a spot. I was a high draft pick, too, so there was a lot of expectation. There were plenty of times I wondered if I could do it.

    Often I’d think of Dad’s advice to me when I was younger. ‘FIGJAM’, he’d say. ‘Think to yourself FIGJAM’. The last five words are ‘I’m Good, Just Ask Me’. You can work out the first yourself. It was a bit old-school, but Dad’s point was to think highly of yourself, believe you’re better than the next guy. At the top, he’d say, everyone’s talented, the difference is confidence.

    FIGJAM stayed with me. So did the input of Brad Johnson, my first mentor, and Scott West, who took over after that. Scott showed me how to train and take my game to another level. Wayne Schwass was another who guided me through those early stages.

    It took about four years to learn how hard you have to train, how single-minded you have to be – even in the off-season. I’d been guilty of returning a bit overweight. At the end of 2009, the club gave me a bit of an ultimatum that I had to come back fit in 2010.

    It was a good shove because I went on to have one of my best years and won best and fairest. Things clicked after that and I had a good five- or six-year stretch where I played really good footy.

    Maybe it was a bit of a maturity thing, not being dedicated to training over the off-season. But as you get older you take more responsibility for yourself and start to realise younger guys look up to you. Also, there were people saying I hadn’t reached my full potential and I wanted to respond to that.

    I think I did that pretty well. By 2013, I won my second best and fairest and was selected All Australian. But, by 2014, things were becoming challenging in a different way. I was starting to feel stale and could feel myself falling into a slump.

    image: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GRIFFEN_PV1_INARTICLE_03.jpg

    [​IMG]


    I’ve always believed that if you’re unhappy you have to do something about it. I think leaving Melbourne was a strong decision, a bold decision, and it gave me the spark I needed.

    Living in a new city was fantastic, working in a new environment and making new friends was great. GWS were really good to me and it was interesting to see how a new club is built.

    It was also a huge challenge. In that first year, Jasmine stayed in Melbourne and I was living with Joel Patfull – I’d lived with Jas for six years before that.

    That first game against the Bulldogs was hard. Really hard. The Bulldogs meant everything to me and it hurt to be booed by the fans after playing there for 10 years.

    Then there was the way I left the Bulldogs. I know it seemed on the outside that it was a bit of a weird departure. There was plenty of talk and rumours. When it came down to it, I just felt it was time to move on. After a decade, my time was up. If I wanted to keep playing good footy and continue my career, I had to start afresh.

    It’s true that when you’re a professional athlete people are going to have their say. That’s their right. That first game for the Giants against the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium was really hard. I’m not going to lie. The Bulldogs meant everything to me and it hurt to be booed after playing there for 10 years.

    Ultimately, I felt reassured that the people who loved and supported me were behind me. That’s what I had to focus on. That was all that really mattered.

    image: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GRIFFEN_PV1_INARTICLE_02.jpg

    [​IMG]



    Read more at https://www.playersvoice.com.au/ryan-griffen-club-that-meant-everything/#DZlPpglisIC3IWR7.99
     
    Southern 8, jaxie1, _M_16_ and 5 others like this.
  18. Dogs_R_Us

    Dogs_R_Us Brownlow Medallist

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    May 01
    Posts:
    10,256
    Location:
    Sirius - the Dogstar
    DAD’S ALWAYS WITH ME
    I loved my time at the Giants, but I had some bad luck with injuries. Last season I played a different role and I think things went well. However, I could sense I was getting slower and these kids were getting faster. I knew it was time.

    When I was in the dressing room after that last game, I thought a lot about Dad. I think about him every day, but especially then. We had an amazing relationship. He’d leave work early, pick me up in Mount Compass and take me to training in Adelaide three or four nights a week. He always wanted the best for me. It was tough when we found out he had cancer. Really tough.

    Dad passed away nine years ago, but I say it to my mum everyday – even since I’ve retired – how thankful I am that they gave me that kick up the backside. If they hadn’t given me that nudge, to have a real crack at playing footy, I’d probably still be in Goolwa and who knows what I’d be doing.

    Dad didn’t get to see me play my best footy. He didn’t see the best and fairests or anything like that. But he saw me get drafted, which he was over the moon about. I’m happy I made him feel proud. I’m just so lucky that I had good people around me. People like my parents were the reason I was able to have an AFL career.


    Read more at https://www.playersvoice.com.au/ryan-griffen-club-that-meant-everything/2/#4yZg5l4Q4LCxJFLb.99
     
    Southern 8, jaxie1, _M_16_ and 5 others like this.
  19. Dogs_R_Us

    Dogs_R_Us Brownlow Medallist

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    May 01
    Posts:
    10,256
    Location:
    Sirius - the Dogstar
    BACK TO THE Land
    Playing AFL for 14 years takes its toll, so I just want to have a break. Everything is so structured in footy, I want things to be easygoing for a while. We decided a while ago, Jas and I, to spend 12 months just travelling around Australia in my Landcruiser and camper trailer. Just move at our own pace. One thing we know is, when we settle down, it’ll be on our farm outside of Melbourne.

    When I played footy in Melbourne I’d go to a farm near Yea, about 100 km out of town and work with a bloke I knew out there, just to get away from it all. I’d get on a four-wheeler and round up sheep, go check the cattle. It really helped me throughout my career. I decided to buy some land for when I was done playing.

    image: https://www.playersvoice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GRIFFEN_PV1_INARTICLE_01.jpg

    [​IMG]


    We’ve been renovating it lately. We’ll probably run a few sheep. It doesn’t matter all that much. For us, it’s about the lifestyle.

    We’d like to start a family and give our kids the same country upbringing I enjoyed. I want them to have plenty of space. I want them to feel as lucky as I did growing up playing footy in Goolwa.

    Read more at https://www.playersvoice.com.au/ryan-griffen-club-that-meant-everything/2/#4yZg5l4Q4LCxJFLb.99
     
    Southern 8, jaxie1, _M_16_ and 3 others like this.
  20. maddog37

    maddog37 Premium Platinum

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    Aug 08
    Posts:
    6,002
    Location:
    Ballarat
    I gotta admit I still am a Griff fan.
     
    Dazb86, jaxie1, compact72 and 7 others like this.
  21. RedWhite&Blue

    RedWhite&Blue Club Legend

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    Jul 05
    Posts:
    2,809
    Location:
    Vic
    A nice little insight into the mind of Griff.
    I f%^king hated how he walked out but I miss him and hated seeing him finish up the way he did... washed up, injured, playing for a team like GWS.
    Still we wouldn't have Tom Boyd, Bevo or the 2016 flag if he hadn't left.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 9:52 AM
    jaxie1, compact72, Woof and 4 others like this.
  22. Norm De Guerre

    Norm De Guerre Left of the dial.

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    Mar 04
    Posts:
    7,036
    Location:
    The Kuiper Belt
    Other Teams:
    Australian Farnarkling XI
    I understand that footy was never his be all and end all but I find it amusing that Karma (as it does) had a way of catching up with him at some shitty roadside servo and then compelled him to watch the end of the game. Especially when one would assume that he was getting out of town so as to avoid the temptation of watching many of his mates win a premiership on TV. Something, something Sliding doors.

    All the best Ryan. I bear you no ill will.
     
  23. Bulldogs_6

    Bulldogs_6 All Australian

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    Sep 07
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    758
    Location:
    Perth
    Other Teams:
    Liverpool, Cavs, Browns, Red Sox
    Good read to be honest - the premiership softened the blow for me.

    All the best for your future endeavours Griff, one of our better players in the modern era.
     
    jaxie1 and Dogs_r_barking like this.
  24. Randomthoughts

    Randomthoughts Team Captain

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    May 14
    Posts:
    481
    He should of never been made captain . It was just not his thing .
    Go out there griff run a few sheep and have a few kids who knows could be a few more Griffin bulldogs in yers to come.
     
  25. TiAn_

    TiAn_ Suspended

    Western Bulldogs
    Joined:
    Sep 06
    Posts:
    4,313
    Location:
    Melbourne
    There’s an alternate reality where that story ends with him beating us in a prelim and retiring with a premiership. Vomit.
     
    zucvv, Tommycash, _M_16_ and 4 others like this.
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